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CO GOP candidate Maes worries bike-share program “may not be compatible with our state constitution”

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"CO GOP candidate Maes worries bike-share program “may not be compatible with our state constitution”"

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Also, he says it’s part of a UN conspiracy

Last week Colorado Tea Party candidate Dan Maes said bike-sharing is a “well-disguised” effort aimed at “converting Denver into a United Nations community.” Yesterday, he went on MSNBC to explain his conspiracy theory.  Wonk Room has the story.

Dan Maes, the Tea Party-supported candidate in the Colorado governor’s race, has argued that a popular Denver bike-share program is a “very well-disguised” part of a plan by Denver mayor (and Democratic gubernatorial candidate) John Hickenlooper for “converting Denver into a United Nations community.” Last week, Maes told the press that Denver’s membership in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) “could threaten our personal freedoms” because environmental initiatives like the cycling program are “very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to.” This afternoon, Maes appeared on MSNBC to explain his conspiracy theory. Although the “bike program in and of itself is fine,” he said, what worries him is “what’s behind it all“:

We’re trying to differentiate myself from the mayor. If I win the primary and when I win the primary tomorrow, people are going to say what the difference is. We’re both business people. When a mayor signs onto a program sponsored by the United Nations, that should bring concern to people as to how the program may or may not be compatible with our state constitution.

Watch it:

Despite Maes’s dark fears, Denver’s participation in ICLEI carries no legal obligations and raises no constitutional issues, but does allow city planners to share information and ideas with other urban communities throughout the world. Maes has not yet commented on Colorado State University’s support for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the suspiciously named Denver International Airport, the University of Colorado Model United Nations Club, or Denver’s international sister cities, like Brest, France, Chennai, India, and Kunming, China.

Transcript:

MSNBC: To Colorado now, in a primary showdown that has one Republican candidate accusing the left of taking part in a United Nations plot. Businessman Dan Maes says Denver’s new bike-sharing program threatens Americans’ “personal freedoms.” They have stationed bikes all over the city for residents to rent. And it’s been championed by the city’s Democratic mayor and gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper. But Maes says it’s a “well-disguised” plot to turn Denver into a “United Nations community.” Dan Maes is running for the Republican nomination for governor in Colorado. Good afternoon.

MAES: Hi, how are you?

MSNBC: You know, you live in a state where there’s a lot of environmental consciousness, we keep hearing about how we’re too dependent on oil and you have a program that encourages people not just to bike around and not use gas but also presumably to get a little healthier, what’s so bad about that?

MAES: Well, the Denver Post article that you might have learned this from, it took a lot of comments out of context. The bike program in and of itself is fine. I’m a biker, I rode the seat off my mountain bike last year myself. But what we’re concerned about is this is just one piece of a larger UN program titled ICLEI, communities for sustainability. It also includes a lot of other dynamics within city management. I was trying to draw a distinction between myself and the Democratic mayor of Denver. So the bike program isn’t in and of itself bad. What I’m concerned is what’s behind it all.

MSNBC: What’s behind it all that has you so upset?

MAES: Well, again, we’re trying to differentiate myself from the mayor. If I win the primary and when I win the primary tomorrow, people are going to say what the difference is, because we’re both business people. When a mayor signs onto a program sponsored by the United Nations, that should bring concern to people as to how the program may or may not be compatible with our state constitution.

Cross-posted on the Wonk Room.

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18 Responses to CO GOP candidate Maes worries bike-share program “may not be compatible with our state constitution”

  1. J says:

    What a clown…

  2. adelady says:

    Bikes = world government conspiracy?

    Oh dear.

  3. hisnamewas says:

    im pretty sure the gov election in CO is going to hickenlooper. i heard maes the other day on npr claiming its unacceptable to demand for increased renewables and then the moderator told him that the ppl of CO voted for this and he had to backtrack. anyways whoever wins the republican primary for governor then has to deal with tancredo who will probably split the vote for republicans and hand the win to hick. i’m more worried about our senate race…

  4. Bill Waterhouse says:

    You’re missing the subtle differences here. Personally-owned mountain bike good. European style shared bikes bad. What I don’t know is where my 3-wheel recumbent fits in his bike cosmology. Afraid to ask.

  5. Peter Mizla says:

    I guess bikes would infringe on the SUV manufacturers.

  6. Jonah says:

    Please don’t feed the trolls. He’s only doing it to try to rile folks up and get attention, like so many 5th graders.

    [JR: No, I think this sort of stuff must be held up for all to see. These extremists typically try to muzzle themselves -- or get muzzled by the GOBP leadership -- until they get elected, like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle.]

  7. mike roddy says:

    There must be something in the air up in the Rocky Mountains. Some of our weirdest leaders come from that part of the country, including Cheney, Barrasso, and Craig. Maybe EPA should conduct a test.

  8. Ted says:

    Dan Maes might be off his rocker but is not a tea party candidate. He is running for Governor as a Republican against former Congressman Scott McInnis. The primary is today. Between Maes, McInnis (and his plagiarism) and now Tom Tancredo (insert baggage here) it is one of the most bizarre political spectacles ever. If elected governor any of the three would be tripping over themselves to help out the coal and natural gas industries in Colorado.

  9. Glenn Magus Harvey says:

    What the hell is a “United Nations community” anyway?

  10. Lou Grinzo says:

    Imagine if they had a state program to (gasp!) encourage walking.

    That would be… what? Communism? An invasion by anal-probe-wielding aliens from the planet Flerbnitz?

  11. Ani says:

    OK now whenever I read about Maes I keep thinking about a Bob Dylan song about the Birch Society and looking for commies under the bed. The problem is that’s the only part I can remember. Its kinda weird when all that is going through my mind is commies under the bed, repeated over and over.

  12. Rockfish says:

    Only commies and illegal immigrants ride bikes on the street (OK, commies, immigrants, and effete Europeans in skin-tight shorts). Therefore anything that promotes bicycling is a communist plot to turn our country over to illegal immigrants. Except mountain bikes – they’re all about good ol’ American FREEDOM, man!

  13. Chris Winter says:

    Maes: “But what we’re concerned about is this is just one piece of a larger UN program titled ICLEI, communities for sustainability.”

    Right; Maes don’t want no sustainability in his community.

    Bicycles are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Next, they’ll be bringing in unicycles — I mean, UN-icycles!

    ;-)

  14. Prokaryotes says:

    The results indicate Maes wasn’t hampered in the closing days of the campaign by his comments that a Denver bicycle-sharing program could “threaten our personal freedoms” and result in U.S. cities becoming a tool for a United Nations agenda.

    Both candidates campaigned on lowering taxes, creating jobs, rolling back some oil and gas regulations

  15. adelady says:

    I dare not say anything. Bit of a glass houses problem with this stone.

    Next week my country might just elect a Prime Minister who said, in public, that climate science was “absolute crap”.

  16. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    Well, as a Coloradoan, I’m glad McInnis lost the primary and I predict Maes loses in the finals. I once had the pleasure of working with McInnis and there isn’t much frosting in the wafer there, he has some nicknames rather derogatory of his mental abilities. It looks like the Repubs are going to be hurting this fall in Colorado, where the population really is fairly green and concerned about global warming.

  17. BillD says:

    Let’s hope that “Ominous Clouds” and fellow Coloradoans make Maes’ candidacy an embarrassment for the GOP.